On the second leg of our family vacation to Indonesia, we went on a trip to Mount Bromo in East Java before visiting Surabaya.
Mount Bromo is an active volcano four hours away from the city of Surabaya. It is within the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park which has a cluster of five famous volcanos.
Visiting Mount Bromo with Kids
Day 5: Bromo Java Tour
We arrived at Surabaya’s Gubeng station from Yogyakarta at midnight.
My husband thought it was insane to head straight to Mount Bromo after a five-hour train ride. However, the Mount Bromo tour begins at midnight, and so I thought it was perfect!
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Well, what would you choose to do?
Surabaya is NOT the closest train station to Mount Bromo. Probolinggo is the closest. However, it is easier to find transport from Surabaya, hence the choice.
Our car ride brought us to Mount Bromo, and as we ascended, we needed to change to a jeep for the remaining stretch.
It costs approximately S$110 per pax for Mount Bromo Tour.
The ride up to Mount Bromo is somewhat bumpy, plus, the altitude had my daughter vomiting twice. My son felt uncomfortable and was down, too. It is advisable to bring along altitude sickness medication.
We read somewhere that it is cold. Depending on the months of the year, it can even drop to single digit temperatures. It was 13 degrees when we were there. Be sure to have warm clothing as it can get cold on Mount Bromo.
Watching the Sunrise at Mount Bromo
The reason why the tour starts at midnight was to catch the sunrise!
I saw the stars while we were changing vehicles. When we reached the top, I was screaming inside. Even though my children were not well and we smelled terrible, I could not help but marvel at the sight of Mount Bromo.
Things are imperfect, and I felt, “That’s alright”.
My daughter saw the view and asked that I take a picture of her before she went back into the jeep. I asked her for one more picture as we walked towards the vehicle.
It was beautiful watching the sunrise.
Crossing the Sea of Sand
Jeeps will then line to head down to the Sea of Sand. Be prepared for tons of visitors on the weekends. A jeep-jam is the norm on weekends.
Since our children were not well, we were among the earliest to leave.
Jeeps park some distance, and we had to walk around 45 minutes before ascending a flight of stairs up to the crater of Mount Bromo.
This is the Sea of Sand.
Horses surrounded the jeep and you can choose to take a horse for Rp 250,000 across the Sea of Sand.
My half-beaten kids sprang to life when the horses looked at them through the jeep door.
The vast black volcanic sand and the beautiful blue sky are just amazing.
Finally, it was a set of stairs to reach the crater.
Mount Bromo’s Crater
And then there is Mount Bromo’s amazing crater!
Note that the barrier isn’t the safest. Please watch out for the children and don’t lean over!
We took some photos and left across the Sea of Sand after visiting the top of Mount Bromo.
We were then brought to a local restaurant for breakfast. It is simple fare, but the view overlooks the Sea of Sand.
It was approximately 8 am by the time we were done with breakfast.
There are many options of things to do for the rest of the day.
You can visit the Madakaripura Waterfall or stop at Batu Flower Garden, Gunung Banyak Sky Park, or the Wonosari Tea Plantation and Jodipan Village.
There are family-friendly attractions in that area like Jatim 1, Jatim 2 (Batu Secret Zoo), Jatim 3 and Museum Angkut (Transport Museum) too.
We chose to head to the hotel in Batu for the night.
Check-in was only at 2 pm, so we just had lunch and waited till night time.
Batu Night Spectacular
In the evening, we went to the Batu Night Spectacular amusement park, an eight-minute drive from our hotel.
Go-karts were the most expensive ride at about S$12 for two rounds. Other rides were around S$1 each. We took Grab to and fro Batu Night Spectacular for about S$3.50.
Day 6: Taman Safari Prigen
Taman Safari Prigen is one hour and 14 minutes from Batu area. My children felt that Taman Safari Prigen was a must-go attraction!
With admission, you can enjoy a safari drive, a zoo, a petting area, a waterpark and an amusement park.
We rented a car with a driver for the day to get us there.
You can purchase carrots at the safari or en route to Taman Safari Prigen from street vendors along the way. These carrots are great for feeding the animals.
At the safari area, deer, the alpacas and a zebra came up to our window to be fed!
There are so many animals to meet. There were easily a hundred deer, huge camels, few lions, few tigers, orangutans, buffalos and bears.
We felt the admission price was worth the safari experience alone.
But that was not all.
We parked the car and began a zoo tour.
While the rest of the zoo is not huge, it still has a fair collection, including a baby zoo. The children loved the experience with a wallaby.
We caught two shows and the performances are entertaining.
The children loved the rollercoaster, bom-bom water car and many other amusement rides. While the rides may seem rather old-school, they were still enjoyable.
Then the kids headed to the waterpark where there was a water play area, lazy river and water slides with floats.
After the day at the waterpark, it onwards to Surabaya, approximately one-hour-and-30 minutes away.
There was also the option to stay overnight at the Baobab Safari Resort and have breakfast with giraffes but we decided not to, as we wanted to head to Surabaya and take it slow for a few days.
Day 7: Exploring Surabaya
Surabaya Submarine Monument
This museum is a significant place in Surabaya. It cost less than S$1.50 to enter.
We were done quickly with the walk-through of the submarine and went to the Old Town to explore. The House of Sampoerna, another popular sight, had not yet reopened at the time of our visit.
Then we had tea at the Majapahit Hotel. It was not too far from where we stayed.
It is an old colonial building that has kept much of its old charm.
It was a pretty hotel to have high tea.
Surabaya is Indonesia’s second-largest city, and things we are accustomed to can be easily found here. The Tunjungan Plaza hotels are especially great places to stay as they are right above a shopping mall.
This brought to an end the second leg of our adventure. Soon it was off to Pangkalan Bun.
Read about the next part of our three-part adventure holiday to Indonesia.
If you enjoyed this story, have you read the first part of the Indonesian Holi-venture with kids?